DR 112: 7 Things that Cause Your Credit Score to Fluctuate from Month-to-Month

Changes in FICO Score

Have you ever paid off a debt only to find that it caused your credit score to drop? That’s exactly what happened to Lakisher, a listener who graciously sent me the following email: “I have a question. I think I know the basics of my credit and credit report but I recently paid off my […]

Published or Updated: October 3, 2014

DR 111: What Should You Do With Your 401k When You Leave Your Job

What to do with 401k when leaving a job

What should you do with your 401k or 403b when you leave your job? This is a question that confronts more and more people. According to the Department of Labor young Baby Boomers held on average 11.3 jobs from age 18 to 46. So it was no surprise when I received the following email from […]

Published or Updated: September 29, 2014

DR 110: The Complete Guide to Cash Back Credit Cards

Guide to Cash Back Credit Cards

Recently two readers emailed me about cash back credit cards. Their questions prompted me to put this guide together to help readers better understand, compare, and choose a cash rewards credit card. First let’s look at the emails. From a reader named Pop: You have a great post on a strategy to use cash back […]

Published or Updated: September 25, 2014

How to Pass the Series 65 Exam

Series 65 Exam is Easy

Earlier this month I took the Series 65 exam. The test is designed for those who want to become investment advisors to manage other’s investments. In response to a number of email from my newsletter subscribers (I mentioned the exam in a newsletter), I thought I’d share my experience studying for and taking the exam. […]

Published or Updated: September 24, 2014

DR 109: The 5-Year Rule on Roth IRA Conversions

5 year Roth IRA Rule

The 5-year rule on Roth IRA distributions comes in two flavors. The first applies to earnings from Roth IRA contributions. We covered the rule in Podcast 105. The second aspect of the rule applies to distributions of Roth IRA conversions. That’s what we’ll look at today. Listen to this Article 1. The Two 5-Year Rules […]

Published or Updated: September 24, 2014

DR 108: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest for Retirement?

Pay Off Mortgage or invest

Imagine you’ve just inherited some money. The amount just happens to match the outstanding balance on your mortgage. Now you have a decision. Do you pay off the mortgage or invest the money for retirement. That’s the question facing a podcast listener named Shelly. Here is her email to me: Great job on your podcasts. […]

Published or Updated: September 23, 2014

DR 107: Monthly Investment Update–September 2014

Asset Allocation September 2014

It’s time for our monthly investment portfolio update. In each update I run through the tools I use and the results of my investments. I show you the good and the bad. We’ll even cover some mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve learned from those mistakes. Let’s start with the tools and a high level […]

Published or Updated: September 21, 2014

Reader Question: Does Applying for a Balance Transfer Card Hurt Your Credit?

FICO Formula

A podcast listener named Jennifer emailed me about balance transfer credit cards and her credit score. She plans to apply for a home equity line of credit soon and is concerned that getting a card before then could lower her FICO score. Here’s Jennifer’s email: I have started listening to your 31 day money challenge […]

Published or Updated: September 18, 2014

DR 106: 8 Black Belt Budgeting Tips

Budgeting

It’s not an overstatement to say that budgeting is the foundation upon which all lasting wealth is built. That’s true whether you make $40,000 a year as a teacher or $40 million a year as an entertainer. If your cash flow is well managed, you can build wealth on any income. If it’s not well […]

Published or Updated: September 13, 2014